Hiding away and not letting the world see the real you. How you really feel. Like a flower hidden behind a bush, not reaching for the sun but hiding.
Your smile is your armour rather than showing true joy. You deserve more.
I was like that. I used my smile like a shield. Not showing how I really felt. Not really experiencing much happiness. Hiding the real me, even from myself. Telling myself that work was everything, that someday I would live how I wanted to live.
Decide to be happy.
One day I made a decision to start doing things that made me happy. Not to wait until that far off time when life was going to be perfect, but now.
I went out and did the activities I wanted to do, saw sites and had experiences.
Started living, rather than existing,
That was when I started to bloom. People made comments about how great I looked, had I lost weight, at that point, no. But the more I started living the life I wanted to live the happier I was and the weight started to come off.
I was not the flower hiding beside the bushes scared of the sun, but a flower reaching for the sun.
What can you do today to start living your life how you want to?
Every day seems the same. Get up, go to work, come home, bed, then repeat until the weekend.
Ah, the weekend. Days when we can hibernate at home and not have to face the world. Feel judged.
We feel out of control, like we cannot change. Do we really want to?
Some days it can seem that we don’t. The warm duvet wrapped around us while we are watching tv. Eating on the sofa.
Life feels hopeless.
A lethargic body that does not like movement. Easier to stay on the sofa. Movement hurts, trying to use muscles that are not used to movement.
Taking control back is too much effort, it is easier to let life pass by.
Until one day you snap! Why does life have to be this way. I should be happy every day. Have energy and do all the things I want.
Play with my children, go on adventure holidays and not be stuck on the bus, or watching everyone else, but out walking and seeing all the wonderful sites.
The first moment is hard, aching muscles that shout to stop because you have listened in the past. Walking for a few minutes more than you ever has is painful, difficult. You keep telling yourself to stop.
Slow and steady.
Each day a little more each day, maybe one minute more.
It adds up and weeks later you can walk double the time you did before.
Less pain. Muscles are stronger.
Every day is a new start, a chance to change a little bit more.
It is really easy to keep with a diet and exercise routine when things are going great. What about when times are tough?
That is when we need something to help us keep going.
I remember being on diet after diet. I would start each diet with enthusiasm and stick with it, even when I was hungry or tired, until it just got too much. I would rather be big than be hungry all the time.
One night it was after work drinks, a few more drinks than I should have had, then shots, then dinner out.
I tried to get back on the diet but never lost anything after that. What changed?
My reason for losing weight changed. Became powerful, stronger than all my excuses.
Remembering my reason was not always easy, especially when faced with temptation, like a lovely piece of chocolate cake. All that moist chocolate and icing is so hard to say no to.
Remembering my reason to keep going became so hard some moments that I shortened it into a mantra. A small saying that I could repeat to remind me of my reason.
My mantra changes as I need it to for a time it was Live my weight loss!
Now it is I am worthy.
I am worthy to be a normal weight.
I am worthy to do activities I love to do.
I am worthy to eat healthy food that I love.
I sometimes print my mantras off and place them so I can see them often.
We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. Buy the latest gear and you will look cool. Fashion changes yearly so you must buy the latest designs or everyone will know you bought that outfit last season, or worse, last year!
Weight loss can be the same.
Why wait to eat what you want, eat everything now!
I want to lose weight, I will take a pill and magically wake up thin.
We know that that is not true but some people convince themselves that there is a quick way to lose weight and if they just find it they will get off the weight loss rollercoaster and become thin forever.
In reality they are trapped in the yo-yo diet, losing weight they ballooning back up.
I was one of the few that didn’t even get to do that, I became large and stayed that way, the smallest I could get was a size 20. I know many people who could get down to a 14 or 12. They live on those moments.
But why can they not maintain?
They return to their normal habits and eat what they want to feel great, because instant gratification is ok when you are a normal size, right?
At any size we need to look at how we think about food. Why do we have bad habits.
We all have bad habits
I have some bad habits but by looking at the why I started to change how I look at food.
Food is no longer just something to enjoy but much more. I can enjoy food but need to remember that it is fuel for my body. If I eat foods that do not give me the energy to do all the activity I need or want to do each day then I cannot get everything I want done. I feel exhausted by the end of the day.
If I eat foods that give my body energy, not instant energy but consistent, long term energy then I can do more activity. I feel great in the evening instead of ready to climb into bed and go to sleep when I get in the door.
It all starts with our thoughts. Changing how we think of food changes food habits.
It is not always easy but it is worth it.
Imagine, not struggling to be your body’s ideal weight.
Have you been in an office where they changed your software? You could work without thinking one day, then the next nothing was easy. You forgot everything that was said on the training, the manuals were too long to find what you needed.
I was on the other end.
I was one of those on the other end. The one who had to walk the floors of the office answering any questions about how to use it, and point people in the right direction when there was an issue. Sometimes having to solve issues on the fly.
I remember a day when I had to start work early. New software was going live and I was the first call support. I had a few hundred to see that day.
No time for lunch, usually no time for breakfast.
A very stressful time for everyone.
I had to help the end users and I had to pop into the help desk to answer their questions, the software was new to them as well. I was the only one who had used it before, well trained and supported it.
I needed to be able to keep going, so I did the only thing I new how. I ate sugary food all day.
Quick, almost instant energy. Sometimes I would do that for an entire week, until the go live rush ended.
Then each evening, or night because I stayed late answering questions, I would get home and crash.
No energy left, then have to pull myself out of bed and drag myself back to work and start all over again.
Eat more sugar!
This is not a healthy way to live. It is certainly not sustainable but as a contractor I could do it for a while then leave the company and sleep for a week.
Once I started to lose the weight I looked at food differently, It is a fuel for my body, what I eat makes a huge difference to how much energy I have. Sweets are a treat eaten in moderation, they do not make me feel the same as they did before.
A consistent balanced diet is what I try to have, eating breakfast every day. Even if it is just my small glass of orange juice with my iron supplement. Then I eat something solid later. Not much later. Like when I arrive at the office or if I am working at home 9am.
I have more energy, for longer. I do not crash when I get home. When I do get home I do some laundry, tidy up. Things I had no energy for before.
Change what you eat to fuel your body, it really does name a difference. This is long term not for a couple of days but over months, try it to see.
Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? It is really easy to try to be the hare.
Start something new. Jumping in with both feet, not looking past today. Go too fast, trying to keep up with the people who have been doing it for years.
Whatever activity it is you feel exhausted after and go home to collapse.
The next day you are sore and feel terrible.
How long does that go until you give up?
Why do something that makes you feel really terrible?
If you are more like the tortious then you might stick with things longer, and improve at them, and find an activity that you Love!
Let’s take swimming as an example.
You have not been swimming for years. So you can show up to the pool and swim the fastest you can for as long as you can, then get disappointed that you are not doing as well as the person your senior who was here before you and still swimming.
Your body is not used to the movement, you are using muscles you have never used before.
When you are finished you could just curl up and go to sleep. In fact you go home and sleep. Then the next day your muscles are sore and it is difficult to move.
People will tell you that if there is no pain there is no gain.
Oh so wrong.
Be slow and steady, ok it is less instant gratification but longer lasting. If you are going to do a new activity you can find out what muscle groups it uses and work on those a bit before. Stretch bands are great for that.
Starting the activity slow is so much better. Feel good but a little tired when finished. The next day you may have the soreness of muscles that have not been used like that but it should not be really painful to move.
So to start swimming the tortoise way is to start a few days or weeks before by using stretch bands to work on the muscles for the type of stroke you are going to use in the pool.
Then going to the pool for a short session, maybe only 10 minutes at first, then the next it could be 12, then 14 et cetera. At the end you should feel a little tired but not exhausted. You certainly should not be in pain or have problems moving.
If that is not the case, and you are sore after you work out then try to reduce the time or go slower.
Find your speed.
Then keep with it for a while, like a week or two. Before increasing a small amount.
Over time you may catch up or even pass the hare. But even if you don’t at least you are out there and exercising!
When you are large a lot of people want to give you advice on how to lose weight, but for me a lot of it was not practical. Some plain odd.
A friend did give me some great advice and it was because she had lost weight, but it was not how to lose weight. Or what exercise to try, it was something that stuck with me and really helped.
She said that as you lose weight get rid of all your big clothes. Then it is more of an incentive to keep the weight off.
I was travelling a lot as I was losing the weight so I started off well. Clearing my wardrobe every month.
I had kept 9 large boxes of clothes of all different sizes and over the years had organised them into sizes, so each month I would open the largest size clothes box and try on clothes.
It was such a high!
Then I would go through my wardrobe and put in a bag (or 3, or more) clothes that were too big.
Many trips to the charity shop was made and I still have bags of clothes to go out.
The feeling you get the day you can shop in a normal sized clothes shop is amazing. You end up starting to shop, shop, shop. Picking something off the rack and buying it without trying it on is not a gamble anymore.
It can be difficult to pull back especially when you buy something you really love but then only get to wear it twice before it is too big.
For clothes that you really love, getting them altered to fit your new size allows you to keep them and get more use from them. Anything that is too big, remove from your closet as soon as you can. It can be useful to keep one outfit in your largest size but you don’t have to keep it all.
Celebrate being your new shape and size, wear clothes that fit and that you love!
Always look happy, keep the smile on your face. It does not matter how you feel inside. A snide comment or a side comment made by someone, whether it was about how much room I took up, or what I was eating or how I moved, I could not let it show how it hurt.
The brighter the smile the more miserable I was. Keep going, moving forward, always smiling.
If they didn’t think what they said hurt, maybe they would stop. It is so much easier to stay at home, not to socialise, not to go out. Safe at home. Life just passes you by. You blink and 10 years has gone by.
Spending my time working without doing what I really wanted? Why did others always get to do what they wanted, the holidays, the adventures? Why not me? That was the point in which I changed. That was the point in which I took charge and decided not to be unhappy.
I was in control and would do what ever it took to lose the weight and start living my life. Realising that weight loss surgery was an option was startling. It was not an easy option but had to be used in conjunction with healthy eating and exercise. Whatever it took I would do it.
My life HAD to change so I would change.
Eating healthy took some time, lots of education and research. There is so much misinformation out there and fads. Then adding exercise. So tired, how can I even do the 10,000 recommended steps? It took time but slowly I got fitter and eventually reached my goal. It is so easy to look at me now, the “new” me and think that it was so easy, that I didn’t have to work to look like this. That would be wrong. It was slow and hard work. But I did it and continue to change.
Have you ever wanted to lose weight, have considered surgery or had it but not had the results you wanted?